Situated near the town's green space and surrounded by Georgian properties, Richmond Theatre initially benefits from being in a rather prestigious setting and often follows up its prime location chops with an excellent performance season. From comedy to drama and children to adults, most will find something worth booking for as our summary will prove, in which we pick the cream of a very talented crop. Further productions and performers are listed below this article and prices exclude booking fees.
Another West-End success reaches south-west London in the form of "Enron", a tale of financial scandal that has won Rupert Goold the Olivier Award for Best Director in 2010. Based on real-life accounts and actual events, this vibrant production seems all the more poignant in these challenging times. Written by Lucy Prebble in 2009, the play will ironically be staged in Reykjavik later this year as well as in Richmond. From 28th Sep - 2nd Oct, tickets cost £21 - £33.
The excellent show that commemorates the comedy genius of the late Eric Morecambe has recently earned itself the coveted Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, a thoroughly deserved accolade. Bob Golding is remarkably accurate and hilarious in this rewarding and bittersweet production, truly bringing 'the tall one with glasses' to life and narrating the story of his relationships with his long-running partner Ernie ('the one with the short fat hairy legs') and his 'rock', his wife. Really worth seeing. From 14th - 18th September, tickets start at £15.
One of those rare comedians who can have you smiling BEFORE he opens his mouth is Irishman, Ardal O'Hanlon. He will always be remembered and revered for playing the dim-witted priest Father Dougal in Father Ted, but O'Hanlon is a seriously amusing stand-up comedian, as sharp as a tack and bang on the money. His latest show deals with life's hardships and adversities.....oh and the Swiss for some reason. He is playing one date only on Monday 25th October, tickets cost £18.
Another national treasure of sorts is the dry, camp and acerbic Julian Clary, now performing in his 25th year. To celebrate this auspicious occasion, he has extended his recent "Lord Of The Mince" tour to smaller rep and studio theatres around the country including here (and also Riverside, Hammersmith - see below). The queen of innuendo, the king of the put-downs and a fabulous entertainer, these tickets will sell out fast. One date only on 7th November, tickets cost £20.
Shakespeare - The Man From Stratford
If you want to see the works of Shakespeare performed on stage by any one man, most would pick the measured, mannered and majestic Simon Callow these days. In this production he has teamed up with Shakespeare biographer and editor of "RSC:Shakespeare - The Complete Works" to bring you an evening of celebration of our most treasured literary-figure. Callow sheds light on the man, as well as plenty of insight into the characters in Shakespeare's most famous works. Runs from 27th - 31st July, tickets cost £19 - £25.
The Merry Wives Of Windsor [Play]
Shakespeare's comedy-farce managed to sell-out The Globe on the South Bank during its recent residency and is now partaking in a UK tour, whereby selected regional theatres get just a few chances to witness this acclaimed adaptation. It's a witty and boisterous tale that focuses on Falstaff's seduction of two women for his own financial and egotistical gains, and his ultimate downfall when the women turn the tables with exacting revenge. Runs from 30th Nov - 4th Dec, tickets cost £17 - £31.
Punt and Dennis
The Theatre is also showing (and taking bookings for) the musical comedy and Gershwin classic "Crazy For You" (an amateur production by the Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society), the Craig Revel Horwood musical "Spend Spend Spend" based on the true-story of the spending-spree of Pools-winning Viv Nicholson in the 60s (she won £152,000 - a LOT of money in those days) and, dare we say it, the chosen Christmas panto for 2010, "Sleeping Beauty" (cast to be announced). But I've got my eye on the date featuring Punt and Dennis, both of whom are experiencing a second-wind these days [yeah, I get that - too much fibre... - Ed]. Hugh Dennis in particular has been on our screens a fair bit - his portrayal as the beleaguered father in "Outnumbered" and vapid quips and comments in "Mock The Week" have both raised his profile. Their new show is on 2nd February 2011, tickets cost £20.